The Corner Chronicle
Chimacum, Washington, Sunday September 24, 2017
The Corner Looks Ahead to 2012
January 3rd, 2012 by Katy McCoy
cartoon of Cracker reflecting on the important year ahead

Happy New Year Neighbors and Friends!  We at Chimacum Corner Farmstand wish you the very best in 2012 and thank you heartily for all the shopping dollars you kept local.  YOU ARE THE BEST!

Like Cracker, our chick mascot, we are looking ahead and thinking about “growing up” in 2012 (anxiety-provoking even without a gizzard!). Changes are never easy, but we are feeling more inspired and optimistic than ever.  These are exciting times that we live in with abundant opportunities. Knowing that you are at our side energizes us and makes us eager to work all the harder.  Read on to hear some of our thoughts and plans!

Taking Stock:

Winter is the time farming communities typically take stock of the season past and reflect on lessons learned. Then they turn their attention to the next season, make plans, order seeds and prepare for action. There is a large amount of behind-the-scenes work that is required to foster the production of the foods that won’t be enjoyed until months later.

As we reflect back on the Corner’s year, we’re taking careful notes on all that we’ve learned. There are things we’ll do differently next year, but overall we are pleased by our many successes. Thanksgiving, 2011, marked our first anniversary as a business. We entered into the holiday season not really knowing what to expect in terms of our business volume. Happily we can now say that October, November and December were terrific months with December 23rd being our largest single sales day since opening!

What a great community we live and work in. THANK YOU!

Listening to you:

While we celebrate the continued growth of Chimacum Corner Farmstand, we are also aware that plenty of opportunities exist for improvement.

In January we will be doing two surveys. Hearing from you will help us understand how we can better serve you and grow into the next stage of our larger vision.

One survey will be done in the store and is simple. We will ask you what town you live in. This will help us to understand where our business comes from. If you live out of the area and come through infrequently, you can email us and tell us where you live.

The second survey will be online, and here we will ask you for more specific suggestions as to how we can best improve to meet your needs and desires.

We also have a suggestion box in the store and welcome any feedback or suggestions — we really do read them and act upon them. Alternatively you can always email us your thoughts.

Thank you all in advance for your participation.

Moving Forward:

As we venture into 2012 change is in the air…

Leadership:

On December 28, 2011 Lindsay completed her tenure as Retail Manager of Chimacum Corner Farmstand. By applying her skills and dedication, Lindsay in just under one year was able to build us the fabulous vibrant retail space we all enjoy today. She was instrumental in building our impressive inventory of great local products. We are very appreciative of and grateful for her inspired keen eye, hard work and commitment. She is already missed and we wish her well in 2012.

Rob Story of “All One Family Farm” in Chimacum has taken over in a larger leadership role as “General Manager” which will help us grow in new and different ways. Rob brings some great skills to the table: farming, experience in creating and maintaining a successful produce distribution business, online marketing, general business development, and an eagerness to listen to people and put things into action. He is a community minded team player and is excited about continuing his passion for building healthy community as a leader of our team. Please give Rob a big welcome and introduce yourself to him if you haven’t already.

We are more grateful than ever for our wonderful staff, busily working to make sure nothing falls through the cracks during this transition. Thank you staff!

Articulating the Vision:

Chimacum Corner Farmstand is more than just a 2,000 square foot retail grocery store. As founders of the Corner, our goal is to be an integral part of a growing local community and economy. We are in the process of fine tuning our vision and will be sharing it with you, our greater community, sometime within the next two months.

Rest assured the mission, supporting our rural agricultural community, is unchanged. Mainly we will be focusing on creating and expanding market opportunities for our local farmers, producers and artisans. The whole community should benefit however as dollars stay on the peninsula, land stewardship strengthens, and access to healthy organic “FOOD FROM HERE” continues to improve.

Store Improvements:

Over the next few months we will be reorganizing the store, bringing in new shelving and additional products (this is where your survey input is important). Our goal is to complete these changes in steps so that we can keep our business hours as usual.

We will also be setting up online ordering of selected items for people who love the Corner but live outside of the area. It is exciting how many calls we get from out-of-state people who have stopped in while traveling and want to buy some of the local products we sell in the store.

With the expectation of a busy summer we are planning to build a covered porch over part of the front of the store as well as outback of the store. In the front this will provide some nice seating areas as well as a shaded place for great produce displays as the abundance comes in from the valleys.

Fundraising:

Over this past year, many of you have expressed a desire to invest in the Corner and asked if there was a vehicle that the community could use to participate. As we move in to 2012 we will be creating this vehicle.

We are aware that our mission to help foster a strong, local community-based economy is a big mission. It is also a very important mission and one that we believe in 100%.

As we look at the financial requirements moving forward we know that a wider financial pool will soon be needed to expand the store, create an online market, continue to develop wholesale channels for local goods, build relationships with producers in other areas who want goods made here, provide excellent customer service, host family-oriented community events, and the list goes on…

While we continue to fine-tune the inner workings of the Corner we are researching a variety of investment models through which community members could offer varying levels of support. Keep your eyes open for further details coming within the next couple months or feel welcome to contact us directly with any questions you may have.

Everyday that we are working at the Corner we continue to be amazed at the gracious, friendly and warm support that each of you offer when you come in and shop or just stop in to say hi. Thank you for helping to create such a great community!

With Gratitude,

Katy, Phil, and Malcolm